Johannesburg Sights

Johannesburg epitomizes South Africa's paradoxical makeup—it's rich, poor, innovative, and historic all rolled into one. And it seems at times as though no one actually comes from Johannesburg. The city is full of immigrants: Italians, Portuguese, Chinese, Hindus, Swazis, English, Zimbabweans, Nigerians, Zulus, Xhosas. The streets are full of merchants. Traders hawk skop (boiled

sheep's head, split open and eaten off newspaper) in front of polished glass buildings as taxis jockey for position in rush hour. Sangomas (traditional healers) lay out herbs and roots next to roadside barbers' tents, and you never seem to be far from women selling vetkoek (dollops of deep-fried dough) beneath billboards advertising investment banks or cell phones.

The Greater Johannesburg metropolitan area is massive—more than 1,600 square km (618 square miles)—incorporating the large municipalities of Randburg and Sandton to the north. Most of the sights are just north of the city center, which degenerated badly in the 1990s but is now being revamped.

To the south, in Ormonde, are the Apartheid Museum and Gold Reef City; the sprawling township of Soweto is just a little farther to the southwest. Johannesburg's northern suburbs are its most affluent. On the way to the shopping meccas of Rosebank and Sandton, you can find the superb Johannesburg Zoo and the South African Museum of Military History, in the leafy suburb of Saxonwold.

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Pretoria 15

City Center 9

Soweto and the South 8

Cradle of Humankind 6

The Magaliesberg 5

Parktown, Parkview, Saxonwold, and Westcliff 2

Greenside and Emmarentia 2

Roodepoort 2

Madikwe Game Reserve 1

Pilanesberg Game Reserve 1

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Amusement Park/ Water Park 1

Archaeological Site/ Ruins 2

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 1

Bridge/ Tunnel 1

Building/ Architectural Site 1

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Dam 1

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Government Building 2

Historic District/ Site 2

House/ Mansion/ Villa 2

Industrial Site/ Mill/ Factory 1

Information Center 1

Local Interest–Sight 1

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Mine 2

Museum Village 2

Museum/ Gallery 16

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 8

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Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 3

Park/ Playground 1

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 3

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 1

Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 5

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Johannesburg Sights

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Lion Park

  • Local Interest–Sight

This highly-rated drive-through safari park offers a rare chance to get up close with Africa’s iconic predator. And while the experience...

Maropeng Visitor Centre

  • Museum/Gallery

Maropeng is the official visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and offers much more than information about the...

Old Kromdraai Gold Mine

  • Mine

For more recent history of South Africa's Gold Rush era (as opposed to the ancient history of humanity you'll find in the Cradle of Humankind...

Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve

  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

Rhinos, lions, wild dogs, cheetahs, hippos, and crocodiles are among the animals you can see at the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve. You...

Sterkfontein Caves

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

It was in the Sterkfontein Caves, in 1936, that Dr. Robert Broom discovered the now famous Mrs. Ples, as she is popularly known—a skull...

Wonder Cave

  • Cave

Wonder Cave is a huge single-chamber cave with a number of intact stalagmites and stalactites and formations up to 50 feet high. An elevator...

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